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Whole Wheat Pasta with Broccoli-Tomato Sauce

Contributed by Melissa Graham and featured on the Style Network’s Town Hall for Style series Too Fat for Fifteen

Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow, green or orange pepper
1 large clove garlic (3 large if using tomato puree)
1 bunch broccoli
1 turkey Italian sausage link (casing removed)
4 cups tomato puree or tomato sauce
pinch dried basil (if using puree)
½ teaspoon dried oregano (if using puree)
1 teaspoon salt (if using puree)
pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
6 cups cooked whole wheat pasta, such as shells or rotini
parmesan or romano
cheese to top, optional

Chop the garlic very finely. Remove the broccoli tops from the stems and separate them into florets. Quarter the stems and cut them into ½-inch thick chunks. Remove the top and the seeds from the pepper and cut into small pieces. Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Dump in the pepper chunks and cook until softened slightly. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for a minute. Stir in the broccoli. Add the sausage, if using, break it up with a spoon and cook until no longer pink. Pour in tomato puree or sauce and sprinkle in red pepper flakes. If using puree, add the herbs. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or longer depending on how soft you like your broccoli. Taste for seasoning. Top pasta with sauce, sprinkle a little cheese on top and serve.

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Contributed by Melissa Graham

Makes 12 pancakes

Whenever I make this recipe, my son is right at my side given his love of both blueberries and pancakes. In fact, when I chose this recipe to demonstrate at a Purple Asparagus talk on family eating. He insisted that he come with me. He did a  great job until he started licking the measuring spoon we used for the honey.  With the exception of the baking staples, all of the ingredients from this recipe come from our farmers’ market. It’s simple enough for kids but sophisticated enough for adults. The recipe was published in Clara Silverstein’s The White House Garden Cookbook.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, well shaken
¼ cup buckwheat honey
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Combine the flours, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium size bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, honey, egg, and butter. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the blueberries. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet or on a griddle over medium heat. Drop approximately 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. When the thick bubbles pop on the non-griddle side and the pancake is browned, flip and brown the other side. Enjoy with maple syrup.

Eat a Pea-Eat a Pita

Contributed by Melissa Graham and adapted from a Paula Wolfert recipe

Serves 4

1 cup cooked chickpeas, with 1/3 cup of the liquid from either for the can or from cooking reserved
1 small clove of garlic, thinly sliced
2 loaves pita bread
extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice
Cumin or Za’atar seasoning (optional)

Heat the chickpeas with the liquid and garlic in a small saucepan just until warm to the touch. Pour into a bowl. Tear the pita into small pieces and add to the bowl. Stir to moisten. Drizzle with oil. Squeeze a touch of lemon juice on top and serve with the cumin or Za’atar on the side. Eat with a fork or your fingers.

Tangerine-Mint Salad Over Vanilla Yogurt

Recipe Contributed by of Melissa Graham

Serves 4

4 tangerines, peeled and segmented
2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped mint
1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
2 teaspoons honey
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Tangerine-Mint Salad:  Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Vanilla Yogurt: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Serving:  Top vanilla yogurt with tangerine-mint salad.

Root Veggie Mash

Contributed by Elena Marre, The Kids’ Table

Serves 6

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes
1 small turnip or ½ of a rutabaga
½ stick butter
½ cup milk, whole or 2 %
1 teaspoon salt

Peel sweet potatoes, potatoes and turnip and cut into ½ inch cubes.  Steam until soft, about 10 minutes.  Transfer veggies to large bowl.  Heat the butter, milk, and salt in a small saucepan. Pour the hot liquid into the root veggies and mash until you have the consistency you want, adding more milk, if necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time. Serve warm, and enjoy!